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It seems to me that the paraphrasing in parentheses is also preying on the Conjunction Bias, by adding additional detail.

[Forgetting Important Lessons Learned]

Does this happen to you?

I'm not necessarily talking about mistakes you've made which have caused significant emotional pain, and you've learnt an important lesson from. I think these tend to be easier to remember. I'm more referring to personal processes you've optimized or things you've spent time thinking about and decided the best way to approach that type of problem. ...and then a similar situation or problem appears months or years later and you either (a) fail to recognize it's a similar situation, (b) completely forget about the previous situation and your previous conclusion as the best way to handle this type of problem, or (c) fail to even really think about the new situation as a problem you may have previously solved.

Anyone else frustrated by this?

Do you have any strategies you use to overcome this problem?


Money is just 1 small part of the equation. People are motivated by other things such as freedom (ability to work remotely, set their own hours, set their own holidays), the ability to learn, respect (treating them like a partner/integral part of the business) etc. I haven't read it, but I've heard that Drive by Dan Pink[1] does a really good job at explaining this.

An example of this would be my Hire an Aspiring Entrepreneur strategy, which you can read about here:

The $4/hour part refers to hiring overseas contractors on places like oDesk. Again, you can get some fantastic people here by designing a position that gives them what they want in other areas. For example, contractors on oDesk are constantly looking for work, so giving them a permanent position where they are guaranteed a set number of hours per week is a great way to attract high quality candidates. I also wrote about this on my blog:



I used metaphors to encode it into a form that would make it easier for me to remember, so it wouldn't be of much use to you. The book is a really quick and simple read, and I highly recommend you go through the process yourself.


Good point. Here are mine:

  1. The systems mindset. Almost everything we do is a repetitive task, and for every repetitive task we have a process. It's tempting to think that a lot of what we do is complex problem solving that is not repetitive, but that's not true. We still follow a process to solve seemingly complex problems, even if we don't initially realise it or it initially seems complex. That means most of what we can do can be described and documented. If it can be documented, then it can (a) be systematically optimized and improved, (b) act as a guide for us to follow to ensure quality control, (c) reduce the required mental energy to perform the task, due to not wasting energy on thinking about the process, and (d) have someone else (with any necessary requisite knowledge) complete the task.

  2. Hiring excellent people for very little money. People are motivated by much more than just money. You can pay people a lot less by giving them much more in the other areas. An easy way to get started is with outsourcing. If you can afford to pay someone $4/hour there's no reason for anyone not to have a virtual assistant. This obviously pairs very effectively with documented systems.

  3. People skills. This is a large area but the 20/80 is to read and take notes on How to Win Friends & Influence People, and turn it into a 1 page cheatsheet to follow when interacting with anyone.

  4. Idea extraction. This is a term that was coined in a business course I did, the idea being to identify business opportunities by interviewing people to uncover their business problems, and continuously drill down to their root causes. But it has much wider application. The ability to uncover other people's root causes is incredibly helpful in sales, customer development and all kinds of situations.

  5. Journaling. Whenever I am faced with uncertainty (constantly) I turn to journaling, and it is incredibly effective in problem solving and raising my self-awareness.

  6. Learning. This is one I'm still working on, but understanding how we learn has been very helpful in creating personally effective methods for learning and memorization.

  7. Productive downtime. Another one I'm still working on, but is based around the idea of pursuing tasks that are enjoyable but are still beneficial, as opposed to time wasters like watching tv, playing computer games etc.


I've systematized enough of my business, and trained people to run those systems, that I can now dedicate the first half of my day to learning about cognitive science, psychology, rationality and other related topics. Just started studying this week!